How to Measure With a Yardstick

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Yardsticks are common in most homes.
Yardsticks are common in most homes. (Image: bauzeichnung image by DerSchmock from Fotolia.com)

Many times, a yardstick makes a better measuring device than a tape measure or a 12-inch ruler. The advantage of yardsticks is that they are made out of two substances, wood or metal. If you are a math teacher, using of a yardstick when doing geometry on a chalkboard will work much better than using a 12-inch ruler, since larger figures can be drawn and measured. Yardsticks also provide you with the advantage of measuring outdoor events and processes such as depth of snow and flooding heights.

Things You'll Need

  • Yardstick
  • Marking device (pen, pencil or chalk)

Examine your yardstick. Depending on by whom or when the yardstick was manufactured, your measurement lengths will measure from 1/4-inch to 1/16-inch increments. Make sure that you are using a yardstick that has measurements that relate to the degree of accuracy you require.

Place the end of the yardstick at the location that will be your starting point. This is the beginning of the measurement and will start at zero.

Follow the numbers on the yardstick to the point where you are going to end. This can be on a solid inch or it can be an inch with a fraction. Mark this spot with you marking device. When measuring snow or water heights. push the yardstick into the water or snow until it reaches the solid surface below and then mark the yardstick to determine depth.

Read the yardstick from the bottom starting at zero. This is the end of the yardstick. The first whole number you will see is 1. If the number is 35 then you have used the wrong end of the yardstick. Locate where you have made your mark or the mark on the surface you are measuring and determine where it falls. Start with the whole number closest to but less than the distance you measured. For example, start with 5 if your measurements falls between 5 and 6 inches. Then, determine the fractions of the inch remaining. The largest line in this series is in the middle and is the 1/2-inch mark. Between the 1/2-inch mark and the two whole numbers on either side are the 1/4-inch marks, then slightly shorter lines for 1/8-inch and the shortest lines, denoting 1/16-inch.

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